Does anticipating something reduce its probability?

Harmony99

Padawan Learner
Been thinking about all this lately because no matter how hard I try, I can't shake the feeling/observation that there is something to the idea that anticipation somehow influences outcomes. Yes, it's partly a psychological issue on how to deal with the world effectively, but the Cs also said it's important who you are (i.e. what you do), and also what you see! This seems to imply that the act of seeing, of observing itself might be important. And perhaps this doesn't only mean seeing/observing in the sense of paying attention to what's going on in the world, but also what we see in the future, how we deal with possibilities and whether we are emotionally attached to certain outcomes. After all, the Cs also said we shouldn't anticipate.

It almost seems as if the universe kind of adapts to our internal states in a sense, as if it cosntantly tried to teach us a lesson about non-anticipation if we get too emotionally attached to outcomes or we anticipate too much (and lower our field of vision that way). And boom - the opposite or something unexpected happens which forces our awareness out of our little anticipation bubble. It's kind of New Age "create your own reality" turned upside down: you do create your own reality, but you get the exact opposite of what your lower desires want!
The knowledge and awareness of Anticipation and expectation is of great importance in navigating our way on this treacherous journey.I am fully armed with my notes from this thread to continue my study and application of being patience and and non anticipatory. Thanks guys for putting this together.
 

Seppo Ilmarinen

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Good thoughts about the topic. it made me think how there are studies (for example Dean Radin's work) showing how our minds can have small statistical effect to the outcome of dice roll.

It suggests that consciousness interacts non-physically with the reality and our anticipation can influence the outcome. So when people expect the dice roll to have for example high or low number, there is proof that this actually works, the odds will increase (though very slightly).

But the reality is much more complex than a simple dice, so this type of anticipation is not very practical or useful. And it seems to be connected to STS mode of being.

The things we most anticipate are not neutral events but instead are connected to our deepest desires and wishes. Basically how we would like the reality to unfold based on pretty much selfish ideas and unrealistic expectations.

This again limits heavily our free will and possible choices, since we're not the only variable in the universe - that's probably why anticipation often backfires and has the opposite outcome as intended.

And not only at the personal level: just look how the the US makes blunder after blunder in the geopolitical domain.
 

Mariama

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Parents are always worried about their children. They always want to protect them. It is a normal thing.
When children go somewhere for the first time or is doing something new parents and especially mothers think that something bad will happen to them.
For example, if a child is going in water during summer and parent is not with him, his mother will be upset all the time that he could drown in the water. She is anticipating this and she is involving her emotions at this, she is afraid, worried.
Maybe by anticipating this unwanting outcome, she is actually making more difficult that to happen, she is protecting her child.
Indeed, I can see these worries about my children in myself and I certainly envisage bad scenarios on a regular basis, but at the same I am trying to give them some practical advice so they can learn how to protect themselves and pay attention to their surroundings. Sometimes I check by asking whether their lights on their bikes are still working and so on. Or I ask whether they have heard this strange noise that the central heating system is making and then see what the problem is. In short, give them tools and knowledge so they can navigate and avoid possible dangers (hopefully). And sometimes I learn a thing or two from them!
 

Approaching Infinity

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Good thoughts about the topic. it made me think how there are studies (for example Dean Radin's work) showing how our minds can have small statistical effect to the outcome of dice roll.

It suggests that consciousness interacts non-physically with the reality and our anticipation can influence the outcome. So when people expect the dice roll to have for example high or low number, there is proof that this actually works, the odds will increase (though very slightly).

But the reality is much more complex than a simple dice, so this type of anticipation is not very practical or useful. And it seems to be connected to STS mode of being.
I'm not sure this is quite correct. It's not so much the expectation that produces the psi effect in studies like that. One of the best replicated correlations with good scoring is simply a belief that psi is real or possible. And it doesn't even need to be a stable belief - researchers can set up an experiment to produce that belief or feeling in the moment. (A person with a relatively stable disbelief can be influenced to be more open to it in the right conditions, just as a person who generally believes can be influenced to disbelieve.)

Actually believing that you can affect outcomes or guess cards (e.g., believing you're especially psychic) tends to have a negative effect on scoring, which confirms the idea that anticipation reduces probability of getting 'hits'. Carpenter goes through all these studies in his book 'First Sight' (see this thread). The best state of mind for getting good results could accurately be described as a state of open, relaxed non-anticipation. If you're putting in cognitive effort and are anxious, chances are you won't get good results.

The things we most anticipate are not neutral events but instead are connected to our deepest desires and wishes. Basically how we would like the reality to unfold based on pretty much selfish ideas and unrealistic expectations.
Yep, and I think perhaps that's why parapsychological results are so small, even if highly significant. Guessing a card or influencing the roll of a dice is not that important or relevant to most people. Rather, the same dynamic or process would be most extreme in events that are highly personally significant. But like you say, the fact that we anticipate outcomes in this sphere of our lives might actually make us less likely to bring them into reality.

This again limits heavily our free will and possible choices, since we're not the only variable in the universe - that's probably why anticipation often backfires and has the opposite outcome as intended.

And not only at the personal level: just look how the the US makes blunder after blunder in the geopolitical domain.
Yep, and I think there's another aspect too. When we anticipate a specific result, we are essentially denying nature, or objective reality. The future is OPEN. When we lock onto a desired outcome, we're basically denying the open nature of the universe. We are not acting in accordance with nature. And our deepest unconscious aims seem to point us in the direction of nature and objective reality - that's what we're designed for. What that means is that when we try to force reality into our own image - instead of learning the way reality actually works and how to navigate within it - then reality will send us a message that we're doing something wrong. Basically, what we're doing won't work and we won't get the outcome we wanted. We'll get signs and 'billboards falling on our heads'.

I think this is why the technique Laura described (was it in the K&B videos? can't remember!) works. If you're looking for the perfect house, you don't imagine all the exact features of the perfect house and then wish to get it. You focus on the overall emotional form that finding the house will take and leave the details open to the universe/unconscious/whatever. By saying, "I want a green house that's 10 years old with 3000 square feet, a well 20 meters from the house, 4 bedrooms, etc." you are closing off all kinds of possibilities and trying to dictate outcomes. But by focusing on the emotions - e.g., the feeling of telling your loved ones, "I can't believe we found the perfect house!" - you are basically creating a path towards finding the best fit, regardless of all your specific desires. The universe is smarter than you are, as is your unconscious. And by making sure not to anticipate and shut down possibilities, you are acting in accordance with nature: the capacity of the mind and the world around you to work together to find the best option among numerous possibilities.

I think the emotional aspect is very important. By specifying a house with all those features, you are basically limiting your options to 1 or even 0 possibilities. What are the chances of finding a perfect match? And even if that match exists, what are the chances it will be available? But by focusing on the emotion of finding the 'best fit' - there are probably several options that would fit the bill, even if you can't imagine them in detail. In fact, you WON'T be able to imagine all the details, because the world is complex. Plus, the specific features aren't necessarily the most important. They're mostly superficial. What really MATTERS is the emotional aspect, which is meaningful in nature. Our unconscious is guided towards meaning and relevance. So by focusing on what is really meaningful - emotional significance - perhaps that is how we can really make our dreams reality. The universe can work with that. It can't work with demands.
 
The universe is smarter than you are, as is your unconscious. And by making sure not to anticipate and shut down possibilities, you are acting in accordance with nature: the capacity of the mind and the world around you to work together to find the best option among numerous possibilities.

Hi Approaching Infinity,

Your sentiment reminded of me of the 'C's intriguing;


A: Laura, my dear, if you really want to reveal "many beautiful and amazing things," all you need to do is remember the triad, the trilogy, the trinity, and look always for the triplicative connecting clue profile. Connect the threes... do not rest until you have found three beautifully balancing meanings!!

Q: So, in everything there are three aspects?

A: And why? Because it is the realm of the three that you occupy. In order to possess the keys to the next level, just master the Third Man Theme, then move on with grace and anticipation.

Something profound in there I suspect?

Cheers

J
 

jhonny

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
The things we most anticipate are not neutral events but instead are connected to our deepest desires and wishes. Basically how we would like the reality to unfold based on pretty much selfish ideas and unrealistic expectations.
Problem is, the deepest desires and wishes are mostly associated with material things, and that could make us think in a hedonistic way. Also, the outcomes of the anticipation in any other fields are rather bad. For instance, ‘new age’ groups are full of people having unrealistic expectations based on that anticipation anxious state.
 

Seppo Ilmarinen

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Actually believing that you can affect outcomes or guess cards (e.g., believing you're especially psychic) tends to have a negative effect on scoring, which confirms the idea that anticipation reduces probability of getting 'hits'. Carpenter goes through all these studies in his book 'First Sight' (see this thread). The best state of mind for getting good results could accurately be described as a state of open, relaxed non-anticipation. If you're putting in cognitive effort and are anxious, chances are you won't get good results.
Thanks for clarification, that makes more sense!
 

ersio

Jedi Master
Thanks all for these posts. I've been playing around with practicing non-anticipation and imagining negative outcomes but have realised I was only doing so to try and get the opposite or desired outcome - basically an attempt to get my own way.

For me it makes much more sense to use the happy go lucky attitude to neutralise this sort of thought process and have faith things will work out in a way that's best for learning and growth. It also seems to enable a more stoic control of my thoughts and feelings.
 

Chu

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Recently I've been thinking about the problem of anticipation in the following way: Think of a tree, just any tree. For example:


Imagine that the tree is your life, with many possible futures, different branches also involving your loved ones, your potential, everything. You are close to the trunk, in one of the bottom branches. The outcome you want is, say, where the orange butterfly on the left is. If you focus ONLY on that, the tree will grow crooked, will lose balance, and either be decrepit or die, or make others suffer from your stupidity. That could be your life. Something like this:

1200-68120121-crooked-dead-tree.jpg

I don't think anyone wants that, except that often wishful thinking enters the equation, and one assumes that everything will be fine anyway. It never happens.

If instead, you focus on all the roots, the trunk, the branches and leaves at the bottom, to create a harmonious tree on a more solid base, step by step, and regardless of the final outcome, you will be closer to your aims. Each step of the process is important, and connected to the rest of the tree.

If at the end of your life you can look back and say that you created a nice tree, and got closer to the butterfly even if the Universe decided you weren't ready for it yet or whatever, then it's not bad.

It doesn't necessarily mean that you stop hoping, or wishing for something. It is rather that while you need to sometimes make "plans", or have steps clear in your head, discipline and suffer in one way or another, you understand that you never have the whole picture (we are strangers to ourselves, after all), and it is not up to you to determine the outcome or avoid steps, but you can make a concerted effort to appreciate the process, life in general, and work towards a higher goal, always remembering you are in one tiny branch of the tree. What you do in life will help determine the whole shape of the tree, but other factors will be involved in deciding which branch you ultimately "land" on. So, there is no point in anticipating the outcome. All we can do is act to the best of our ability and knowledge. The rest is not up to us decide.

Well, something like that anyway! Life is also "irreducibly complex", so you never know what your path from A to B will be like precisely, or even if in the end, you are meant to go from A to C (say, the birdie in the tree above, which may be even better if you don't limit the possibilities with your own blindness and stubbornness). So, do your best, stick to your values, nourish the tree, and don't expect it to turn out to be a specific shape.

That means that whatever the "wish" is, you need to work on multiple areas at a time, so that the tree is balanced. Becoming a better person, for example, is not just doing a good deed for one single person, for example. It is learning to give and receive in healthier ways, without agendas or ideas of a recompense. It is being patient, understanding, responsible, and much more. It is learning and working hard, so that you have something to offer to others. You cannot just decide to do just one thing and forget the rest of the "tree". If you have faith that the Universe knows what its doing, then it makes sense that if YOU limit the options and constrict the flow, you are not going to get what you want. Because it is precisely that, a "want", an expectation, entitlement. It isn't seeing reality left and right and acting accordingly. It isn't "becoming a conduit for the Universe", but rather arrongantly telling the Universe that you know better. That can never work. OSIT.
 
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